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Gauteng taxi driver arrested for ATM bombings in Free State

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A taxi driver was arrested for allegedly bombing two ATMs in Allanridge in the Free State. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 13, 2022


Rustenburg – A 44-year-old taxi driver was arrested in connection with the bombing of ATMs in Allanridge in the Free State on Thursday.

Free State police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said the taxi driver from Kempton Park in Gauteng was arrested by the Welkom flying squad following the bombing of two ATMs in the early hours on Thursday at Allanridge Mini Market.

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"All relevant units were activated around Lejweleputswa District. Members of the Welkom Flying Squad were following every lead until a 44-year-old suspect from Kempton Park, Gauteng was arrested. He will appear in the Odendaalsrus Magistrate’s Court soon," he said.

Captain Thakeng said the suspect’s vehicle was also seized.

"The other unknown suspects are still on the loose and anyone with information which can lead to their arrests, can contact Detective Sergeant Molelekeng Tsoeu on 061 4213 938 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111. Anonymous tip-offs can be submitted on the My SAPS App," Thakeng said.

Meanwhile, a 35-year-old man who was arrested in Klerksdorp in North West in connection with a post office robbery appeared in the Odendaalsrus Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Thakeng said this related to an incident on December 1 where the Allanridge Post Office was robbed of cash by four armed robbers with automatic rifles.

"A member of the SAPS sustained a bullet wound and was admitted to hospital. Two vehicles were abandoned and an unknown getaway vehicle was used," he said.

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A case of armed robbery and attempted murder was registered and is being investigated by Free State Provincial Organised Crime.

He said the 35-year-old man was arrested by Klerksdorp Organised Crime Unit on Monday. He would appear in court again on January 25.

North West police spokesperson Captain Aafje Botma identified the man as Bongani Mawdhlazi of Kanana, near Orkney.

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He was arrested in North West after he was linked to a robbery at the Kanana Post Office on January 4.

"It is alleged that three balaclava-wearing men entered the post office, held cashiers and the manager at gun point and robbed them of an undisclosed amount of cash which they took from the safe and fled from the scene," he said.

The suspect was also linked to the robbery at the Khuma Post Office on December 2 where an undisclosed amount of money was taken.

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He was also linked to three business robberies committed in Allanridge, Bothaville and Viljoenskroon in the Free State.


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Crime and courts